Pearl River Firefighters Send Sobering Message With Mock Accident

Members of the McNeill Volunteer Fire Department put their fire and rescue skills to the test on the 4th of July. Firefighters teamed up with other rescue personnel for a mock rescue drill. The drill was designed to send a sobering message about the dangers of drinking and driving.

The scenario of this mock exercise is one rescue crews know can become reality at anytime. A teenager gets behind the wheel drunk, loses control of his car and crashes. "It just goes to show you that when you start drinking and driving you can't handle the car and he hit a tree" said Assistant fire Chief Donny Leonard.

In the mock drill the teenager's younger brother who was not wearing his seat belt was thrown through the windshield and killed. The driver's little sister was seriously injured. The idea was to make the drill as realistic as possible for the people who came out to watch. " If they can see it first hand the way we see it when we do respond to these calls I think it sinks in a little better."

The exercise not only gave rescue workers a chance to educate the public about the ramifications of drinking and driving and the importance of seat belts.. it also gave them a chance to practice on and demonstrate the equipment folks in the community helped to buy. According to the department's fire Chief Melvin Glidewell, "They don't like to give unless they know your putting it to a good cause."

The sobering message from the mock drill apparently got through to the people who showed up to watch.. " It was very very disturbing to see what can happen in an instant by a careless reckless driver. I hope this made all the people aware of what actually does happen and can happen to our young people especially I know this was a mock drill but it was reality" said Virginia Galloway a Pearl River County Resident.

The mock drill was part of the McNeill Fire Department's 25th annual 4th of July Festival Fundraiser. The event included an emergency services parade, Bluegrass and Gospel music and ended with a huge fireworks display.